Eddie is the founding principal of Edward Christian & Co and lives in Eastbourne with Maree and a young family. He established Edward Christian & Co in late 2010 based on a desire to strengthen and personalise client relationships. He has a strong wish to work alongside his clients to develop and grow their businesses to the fullest potential - success is satisfying!
Eddie has a broad commercial background which has included both Chartered Accounting and wider business experience, including owning his own business in the hospitality sector for over 10 years. Corporate experience with companies such as Shell Australia and the Owens Group [part of Mainfreight an NZX company] have assisted in providing Eddie with a breadth of experience not often available with most accountants - but thats only part of the story....
Eddie commenced his Chartered Accountancy career with Deloitte in Christchurch after completing his Bachelor of Commerce Degree at Canterbury University. Major components of the degree were accounting, commercial law, marketing, and economics which even back then gave an indication of his wider interests in business and commerce. Eddie gained a broad range of experience with Deloitte with initial experience in the Business Services area, followed by almost two years exposure to audit - the first audit job was a funeral director which pretty much summed up his interest in audit! The next level of experience was in Business Advisory, still with Deloitte, which he found extremely valuable with exposure to the many and varied issues faced by clients large and small. A considerable level of consultancy work was undertaken at this point with some of Deloitte's larger clients including New Zealand's largest breweries - maybe that tweaked the interest in hospitality. At this point it was decided to head to Melbourne and Eddie commenced work with Shell Australasia in their head office in Melbourne. The role involved responsibility for 11 separate 'problem' distributorships throughout Australia. Monthly reporting compilation, leading into annual reports were part of this role, including regular site visits to such places as Alice Springs, Perth, Mt Isa, Murray Bridge SA, Canberra, Tasmania etc. kept things interesting and moved the role into something of a business development and improvement opportunity. The Shell Truck-stop in Alice Springs was such a project.
Eddies interest in the horse racing industry brought him back to New Zealand where he became involved as a Business Development Manager for a stud and breeding operation. Exposure to the industry was invaluable and included all aspects of stallion syndication and breeding, foal care, yearling preparation for sale, business development and marketing, sponsorship, and many other facets of a really dynamic industry. His interests in the horse racing industry actually commenced at school, including an extended period as a stablehand and horse trainers assistant.
The next step for Eddie was to seize an opportunity in the hospitality industry - by commencing his own restaurant and bar in partnership with a friend. The operation was very successful and included a 200 seater restaurant, associated bar, catering operation, and also contract catering to a Workingmen's Club. The experience of employing approximately 50 staff, mainly young and part-time, proved something of a test at times but wouldn't be missed for a moment! The hours were massive but the passion and dynamic nature of the hospitality industry created a real enthusiasm for the industry which Eddie retains to this day!
After the sale of the business Eddie did a range of contracting work for companies such as the Owens Group with involvement in perishable air and sea freight. Penguins to flowers, and everything in between. This was a business development role with financial reporting requirements. Prior to this Eddie managed the Te Puki Hotel for the owner, leading to a sale negotiation, proved an interesting experience for Eddie. Culturally very different to his experiences but it resulted in getting to meet some really neat people - great fun!
After being offerred a full-time role at Owens, where he worked for another 18 months, Eddie then accepted a role out of Auckland - Wellington! The opportunity to become CEO for the Wellington Racing Club was too good to turn down with a great meld of financial, marketing, racing, and hospitality all in one. The role was challenging at times when dealing with the passion of industry participants but the ultimate thrill was Wellington Cup Day with almost 30,000 people on course, 500 staff servicing the public, and the general excitement of all participants - the first beer at about 9.00pm that night was great!
After almost 4 years in the role, in an industry restructure, Eddie moved on to further short term contracting roles whilst sending his son Kees off to school for the first time. An opportunity opened up with Sherwin Chan & Walshe in Lower Hutt [now WHK Wellington] and after meeting with Brian Walshe the CEO Eddie accepted a role with the well respected Chartered Accounting Practice.
After a period of getting back up to speed Eddie become an Associate Principal of the now WHK Wellington firm. The broadness and variety of his experience enabled him to take on many varied tasks including a number of special projects, liquidation/receivership work, and a range of general taxation and compliance duties. Eddie maintained his interest in business development and was able to introduce a number of new clients to the firm. His hospitality expertise was well utilised with a number of established and newly commenced hospitality outlets.
Eddie maintains an active interest in sports with coaching duties in soccer and a Boardmember role with Wellington Rugby League. He continues his interest in the not for profit sector which faces many challenges at the moment. The horse racing industry is, as always of particular interest especially around January and the Wellington Cup Carnival.
In August 2010 the decision was made to commence practice on his own under the banner of Edward Christian & Co, based in Eastbourne. The initial set-up phase is almost complete so watch this space for the next steps on the road ahead!